Maloney comfortable with Warriors' role - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maloney comfortable with Warriors' role

By Robert Lowe 11/03/2010 02:52:26 PM Comments (0)

New recruit James Maloney may be the latest attempt to solve a problem area for the Warriors, but he won't be burdened by recent history when he runs out for the NRL clash with Gold Coast on Sunday.

The halves have been an issue for the Warriors since halfback Stacey Jones left the club the first time around at the end of 2005, and the Little General's return last year fell short of expectations.

Maloney, 23, was signed in August when Jones decided he wouldn't be extending his comeback from retirement into another season.

His first-grade career comprises four appearances last year for premiers Melbourne, where his opportunities were restricted by the presence of Cooper Cronk and Brett Finch.

After showing good form in the trials, he has been given first go in the No.6 jersey by coach Ivan Cleary, ahead of the likes of Joel Moon and exciting youngster Shaun Johnson.

Maloney, who will combine with another new signing at halfback in Brett Seymour, said the weight of expectation wasn't too heavy on his shoulders.

"Apparently, there's been a lot of talk about the halves over here," he said.

"Obviously not being here I've missed a lot of it. I'm not feeling a lot of pressure, I'm just going out to do what I have to do, and I'll work with Ivan and Brett to try to do the best job for the team."

The publicity around Seymour's return to the NRL after being sacked last year by Cronulla for alcohol-related incidents has helped to take the spotlight off Maloney, who was comfortable to be "flying a little under the radar".

He said he was given no guarantees when he joined the Warriors so was delighted at being included in the starting line-up for the trip to Robina.

"I don't think anyone anywhere can guarantee you a spot," he said.

"You have to play the football to earn it. There was an opportunity here for me and I took it up and I'm pretty happy to get the job in round one."

He said his combination with Seymour was getting better the more time they spent with each other.

"He makes it real easy to play with, so we'll just keep working on it as we go," he said.

"Hopefully it will just get real good by the end of the year."

Maloney and Seymour can expect a solid test of their credentials when they face Gold Coast.

Maloney's opposite will be former Kangaroo Greg Bird, another ex-Shark resurrecting his NRL career, while the Titans will again have skipper Scott Prince pulling the strings at halfback.

Cleary said he was "reasonably happy" with how the new halves were developing.

"James Maloney in particular has really come in and done a good job, and both boys have earned the respect of their teammates, and that's the main thing," he said.

"In terms of direction and kicking, we've been pretty good so far. Everything steps with the matches coming up. They're going to have to adjust to that, but I'm confident the boys can do a good job."

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